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Weekend Box Office Report: Apocalypto is tops

By Karl Schneider     December 11, 2006

Apocalypto still
© Buena Vista
None of the new openers were able to really break out leaving Mel Gibson's Apocalypto on the top with just over $14 million.  The gross is solid, but not spectacular and almost surely would have been higher if not for some of Gibson's recent actions.

I got out to the theaters this weekend, and felt that Apocalypto is a movie which comes very, very close to being a masterpiece, but is never able to make the leap.  Regardless, still an engrossing and intense film.

As for the rest of the new openers, the romantic comedy The Holiday came in second for the weekend with $13.5 million while the thriller Blood Diamond was only good for 5th place and $8.5 million.  Oh and Unaccompanied Minors opened to $6.2 million.

In other news ... Happy Feet missed out at holding the top spot for 4 strait weeks by only $1.5 million.  Casino Royale made another $8.8 million and The Nativity Story continued to disappoint with only $5.3 million.

Until next week ...

1 N APOCALYPTO BV $14,166,000 - 2,465 - $5,746 $14,166,000 1
2 N THE HOLIDAY Sony $13,500,000 - 2,610 - $5,172 $13,500,000 1
3 1 HAPPY FEET WB $12,718,000 -27.5% 3,650 -154 $3,484 $137,738,000 4
4 2 CASINO ROYALE Sony $8,800,000 -41.8% 3,161 -225 $2,783 $128,894,000 4
5 N BLOOD DIAMOND WB $8,515,000 - 1,910 - $4,458 $8,515,000 1
6 N UNACCOMPANIED MINORS WB $6,205,000 - 2,775 - $2,236 $6,205,000 1
7 3 DEJA VU BV $6,070,000 -44.6% 2,742 -366 $2,213 $53,046,000 3
8 4 THE NATIVITY STORY NL $5,350,000 -31.8% 3,083 -100 $1,735 $15,500,000 2
9 5 DECK THE HALLS Fox $3,925,000 -41.2% 2,766 -439 $1,419 $30,076,000 3
10 6 THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE BV $3,311,000 -32.3% 2,226 -391 $1,487 $77,240,000 6


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mckracken 12/11/2006 12:39:04 AM
" The gross is solid, but not spectacular and almost surely would have been higher if not for some of Gibson's recent actions" actually i doubt it, the people that go to the movies are normal human beings and most of us normal people drink and make stupid comments. I doubt normal theater going people would intentionally boycott Apocalypto just because of the antics of Mel. If you want to use that as an argument, look at the gross for the next Jackie Chan flick and say its directly linked to HIS drunken antics, nope... $14,166,000 is a pretty sweet haul but the naysayers in Hollywood wont let anyone forget what happened... theater audiences dont stay away from a movie because of stuff that happens behind the scenes, they stay away because a movie gets bad word of mouth, or negative press... dont think its because "Mel got drunk" I dont buy it.
exfan 12/11/2006 12:53:39 AM
I agree with you ! Beside people are smart enough (I hope so) to make the different between the talent of one showbusiness guy and his private life....As far as i remenber most of the talent actor use to have drink problem, none of them was boycott by the public...They wa boycott by producer like Tom cruise with paramount but not by the public...I think so
Dazzler 12/11/2006 6:38:15 AM
I saw APOCALYPTO and it was good. It did not do "great" because of the subject matter. His last one was about JC and this one is about a backward culture about to go out of existance "thank god" (watch the movie and you will see why I say that). I hope Mel tries his hand at sci-fi next.
snallygaster 12/11/2006 8:15:35 AM
Apocalypto did fine at the box office, I doubt that Gibson's earlier drunken rant had much impact. Most people calling for a boycott were probably not going to buy a ticket in the first place. The movie actually sold about as many tickets as Braveheart did eleven years ago (Braveheart opened to about $10M, so adjust for inflation), and that movie starred Gibson at the height of his popularity (not to mention was in the English language and had a more familiar setting for Western audiences). The box office predictions for Apocalypto were all over the place, it was a real wild card. It won't do as well as the most optimistic predictions, but it will also do much better than the worst-case scenario box office predictions. I suspect the movie could grow "legs" as word of mouth gets out. That said, I saw Apocalypto this weekend and have mixed feelings about it. At its heart, it's a fairly predictable action movie that suffers from a couple too many coincidences. But the Mayan setting is so novel that it's still a worthwhile movie to see, especially on a large screen.
tiberius 12/11/2006 9:25:58 AM
OK, I'm going to try and be contsructive here so don't go calling me politically correct or anything. And by the way I am a "normal Human being" who loved most of Mel's films and would have run to see this one. But I am boycotting Mel's work from here on out. Why, because he refuses to acknowledge that it was more than just a drunken rant. Stop using comfortable easy euphamisms for what Gibson Did. Some say drunken rant, some say he said stupid things because he was drunk...let's put it this way: (a) If you say racist things when you are drunk, it is because you are racist. Don't sugar coat it and don't play it down. This is how this crap continues (b) Backward Culture? Backward Culture? Good lord! Exactly how forward a culture do you think Europeans were at the time? I think you might want to let Mel do his own healing while you actually do some of your own work. Hey Dazzler, in Braveheart, when the Brits were r@ping Scottish brides on their wedding nights, and when they were disembowling Mel's character at the end of the movie, did you leave talking about what a backward culture England was? Check your own biases and take a look in the mirror before you start talking about other people or cultures being backward. (c) snallygaster is right, the movie will do fine, it will probably grow legs. The fact is that the few "normal" folks who actually know what racism, sexism, anti-semitism and heterosexism are probably won't go to any more mel films on general principle. Will it make a difference to him? Nope. He has like a cagillion dollars. But he won't be making any more money from me. I'll be going to the next George Clooney movie because he actually seems to have a social conscience and a world view that isn't stunted by blanket nationalism or cultural tunnel vision.
fft5305 12/11/2006 10:08:31 AM
I don't think anyone "boycotted" Apocalypto because Mel Gibson got drunk and spewed anti-semetic comments any more than people boycotted MI:III because Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch and criticized women who use medication to help with post-partem depression. But the fact is, people associate an actor or director with the movies they do - to some degree or another. This is not to say that Apocalypto would have made $60M if not for the incident, but it may have made a few mil more. MI:III wasn't a box office flop, but it should have done much better than it did, given the franchise power and the current buzz about JJ Abrams. But people were turned off by Cruise's antics and it affected the box office. Same with Mel. Plain and simple.
monkeyfoot 12/11/2006 10:17:15 AM
I'll be going to see Apocalypto pretty much for the same reasons everyone has said. I also understand Tiberius' POV. But from the interviews I've seen, Gibson seems to acknowledge he has a racial problem (and an alcohol problem) and is trying to deal with it. Once it's thrown full bore in his face with alot of bad publicity, he can't avoid it. As long as he's aware of his problem, lets the public know he's aware , and plans to work his way through it, It will not stop me from seeing an artist's work.
Kerrith 12/11/2006 12:48:24 PM
I am sure that Gibson isn't the only drunken racist in Hollywood. Now we know, and it really changes one's perspective on why he would have chosen to make a film version of a Passion play that historically were used to incite violence against Jewish minorities. Hollywood has a tendency to look the other way when it comes to talented film makers and their indiscretions. They gave Polanski an Oscar for best directer despite him being a fugitive for a few decades wanted on child rape charges. A drunken anti-semetic tirade seems kind of tame compared to that. Though I suspect Gibson is no longer on Speilberg's Christmas card list. As for Dazzler's stunning comments "backward culture about to go out of existance "thank god""... I have to agree with Tiberius. The Maya were building towering monuments while the English were huddled in mud brick huts along the banks of the Thames. If it is the human sacrifice for the sake of religion that bothers you, remember that the Spanish Inquisition was carried out in the late 15th century. Religiouss torture and murder by an "enlightened" society. If you wish to characterize the Mayans as a civilization in decline I can accept that.
browbeat 12/11/2006 1:14:47 PM
I think I'll see this film this weekend. I still have to get out to see Casino Royale too. Looking forward to it.
wessmith1966 12/11/2006 1:18:20 PM
I don't think Gibson's latest will spin big numbers at the box office. There's "the incident," which might make some people shy away from the film. Personally, I found his tirade offensive, but to each their own. That alone wouldn't stop me from seeing the film because the one has nothing to do with the other as far as I'm concerned. I think that the fact that the movie isn't in english will be the biggest hurdle. I know that The Passion did huge numbers and it wasn't in english, but the movie did huge numbers because of its subject matter. I just don't see Apocalypto striking the same chord with the audiences. I plan to see it, but then I go sto see just about everything that hits the theaters.
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